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Evaluation of Development Programs: Using Regressions to assess the Impact of Complex Interventions

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  • Chris Elbers

    (VU University Amsterdam)

  • Jan Willem Gunning

    (VU University Amsterdam)

Abstract

There is a growing interest in extending project evaluation methods to the evaluation of programs: complex interventions involving multiple activities. In general a program evaluation cannot be based on separate evaluations of its components since interactions between the activities are likely to be important. We propose a measure of program impact, the total program effect (TPE), which is an extension of the average treatment effect on the treated (ATET). Regression techniques can be applied to observational data from a representative sample to estimate the TPE for complex interventions in the presence of selection effects and treatment heterogeneity. As an example we present an estimate of the TPE for a rural water supply and sanitation program in Mozambique. Estimating the TPE from randomized controlled trials would appear to be an alternative; however, the scope for using RCTs in this context is limited.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tinbergen Institute in its series Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers with number 12-081/2.

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Date of creation: 31 Jul 2012
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:uvatin:20120081

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Web page: http://www.tinbergen.nl

Related research

Keywords: program evaluation; randomized controlled trials; policy evaluation; treatment heterogeneity; budget support; sector-wide programs; aid effectiveness;

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  1. Das, J. & Dercon, S. & Habyarimana, J. & Krishnan, P., 2004. "‘When Can School Inputs Improve Test Scores?’," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0437, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  2. Stefan Dercon, 2004. "Teacher Shocks and Student Learning: Evidence from Zambia," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2004-26, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  3. Angus Deaton, 2010. "Instruments, Randomization, and Learning about Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(2), pages 424-55, June.
  4. Elbers, Chris & Gunning, Jan Willem & de Hoop, Kobus, 2009. "Assessing Sector-wide Programs with Statistical Impact Evaluation: A Methodological Proposal," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 513-520, February.
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